Every year when the Main Event gets under 100 players, it still surprises me how many awful players have managed to get through.
From the last two episodes on ESPN there are two mind-numbingly horrible hands that come to mind. In one, a player checks through fives full against two players that obviously don't have a better full house.
In the other, some random jock calls a raise with 8-2o out of the big blind vs. Phil Ivey only to flop a pair and fold. (Hoping for an 822 flop? Makes sense.) Luckily, awful hands weren't the only thing featured.
We also got to see Ivey knock out trex313 via two-outer without even realizing it was him.
That was pretty funny, Ivey gives him the "Sorry, nice playing with you" like he's just some starstruck fan, not even realizing that they've played thousands and thousands of hands together for millions of dollars.
What else, what else? Oh yeah, the last two episodes really showed how much the Main Event is the ultimate run-good challenge.
Ivey hit everything in sight, Phillips gets aces like 20 times, the list goes on. With that much luck involved, it actually does make sense that Mr. 8-2o somehow makes it to Day 6.
It also brought us our next Main Event snapshot, with Dennis Phillips locking horns with fellow OG November Niner Peter Eastgate. In this hand, Phillips surprisingly doesn't look horrible.
Phillips vs Eastgate, 2009 WSOP Main Event
With the blinds 12,000/24,000, Dennis Phillips makes it 65,000 from middle position with 1.5 million behind.
It's folded to Peter Eastgate on the button who makes the call with 1.10 million behind. The small blind folds and Frank Rusnak makes the call in the big blind.
The flop comes 4♣ 3♣ K♠. Rusnak and Phillips both check and Eastgate fires 105,000. Rusnak folds and Phillips makes the call.
The turn comes 9♣ and Phillips checks. Eastgate bets 175,000 into 441,000 and Phillips moves all-in.
Eastgate looks disgusted and folds.
Phillips gets the hand rolling by raising to 65,000 with A♣ A♦. Eastgate calls on the button with 50ishbb and one of the best suited connectors in Q♦ J♦.
Eastgate is looking to flop big and double up but he also thinks he can outplay Phillips because he's the better player and he's in position.
Frank Rusnak calls as well in the big blind with the A♠ 9♠. Rusnak is drawn in by good pot odds with his suited ace. He's obviously looking to flop big or get out.
The flop comes K♠ 4♣ 3♣ and Rusnak checks, having missed the flop completely. Phillips checks as well attempting to disguise his hand and trap the aggressive Peter Eastgate.
The plan works when Eastgate fires 105,000. Eastgate likely thinks Phillips either missed completely or holds an underpair to the board - both of which he feels will fold to continued aggression.
Rusnak folds and Phillips makes the call. The turn comes 9♣. Phillips continues with his plan and checks again.
Underpair to the Board?
Once Phillips checks and calls on a king-high board, it really looks like he has an underpair to the board - something like JJ or QQ.
Eastgate realizes this and feels like a second barrel will get his opponent to fold these underpairs, so he fires 175,000.
The only problem is Phillips doesn't have an underpair. He has the only overpair, and he has the nut flush draw to go along with it.
So Phillips springs his trap and shoves all-in.
Eastgate, with nothing more than a week gutshot on a three-club board, just folds, forfeiting his 275,000 worth of attempted steals.
A well-played hand by Dennis Phillips, who appears to have really improved since last year.
(His luck however remains the same. I mean who really gets AA that often, COME ON!)
Nh, Phillips. Now let's just see if you can run better than your replacement Darvin Moon.